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Notre Dame 49 Boston College 20: Thumbs Up And Thumbs Down

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Boston College Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College got steamrolled on Saturday, completely falling apart in the second half as Notre Dame routed the Eagles in front of a sold out crowd. The first half of the game was exciting, but ended on a sour note which I will get into in a little bit. Honestly, there were a few positives to take from this game, and yes a whole lot of negatives. I’ll fully admit that I left the game halfway through the third quarter because it was just impossible to watch, but the game was out of hand after that and didn’t really matter. So here we go!

Thumbs Up

Jon Hilliman: Yes he had a fumble at the end of the game when BC was trying to mount a comeback, but for the most part it was nice seeing him look explosive again and attacking the line of scrimmage. There was another reason why he looked good and it was....

Run Blocking: Was it perfect? No, but it was drastically improved from the week before. Notre Dame looked stout against Georgia just a week before but BC was able to open gaps for long runs on multiple drives on Saturday. Also a tip of the cap to Ben Petrula who looked much more comfortable at center this week.

Turnovers: They needed them, and they got them. A nice interception by Lukas Denis to end the first half (we will get to the carnage after that later), and a fumble recovery. BC got what they needed to flip the field, it’s just too bad the offense was only able to put up 3 points off of them.

Charlie Callinan: Big time game for the senior with two nice touchdown catches, the first with a beautiful dive in the first half.

Max Shulze-Geisthovel: This kid is a touchback machine. Really impressive leg on Das Boot.

Thumbs Down

Interior Run Defense: Josh Adams looked like the second coming of Herschel Walker out there on Saturday, and the bulk of the blame has to go to the guys up front. Most of the yards came with runs right up the middle, and the tackles Noa Merrit and Ray Smith were completely ineffective. Even when BC stacked the box, Adams and Brandon Wimbush just needed to get to the second level and they were gone. It was just a massive cluster bleep, part of that goes to the talent on the line, and part of the blame has to go to Jim Reid and Steve Addazio for the scheme.

The End Of The First Half: Last week when I did the BCI podcast with Eric Hoffses, he said he expected that Steve Addazio would pull out all the stops to win this game. Trick plays, aggressive play calling, etc etc. Did we see any of that on Saturday? No. We saw a series of downs that was emblematic of the Steve Addazio ERA at BC. The defense made a huge play, and put BC in position to take the lead or just get points. And what does he do? With two time outs he has Anthony Brown throw, and then runs the dive to go into halftime. This wasn’t aggressive play calling at all, this was trademark Steve Addazio offense. After the game he said he didn’t like the percentages and kept talking about chucking it down the field also he was afraid that Brown would turn the ball over. Come on, BC just needed two chunk plays, say two 10 yard passes and then try a field goal and you have points. In the end did this play matter? Probably not, but it sent a clear message to the fans and even worse the players that the coaching staff didn’t believe in them and we saw the game completely unravel after this.

Penalties: I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I believe BC had five false start penalties. For an offense that can’t seem to make explosive plays, these were absolute back breakers. Every time BC had a good drive going, it seemed like there would be movement, whether a lineman or a wide receiver. These penalties happen, but not as often if the team is well coached and disciplined.

Kobay White: He certainly has the skills to be a game changer, but this is two games in a row where he has made mistakes that have caused turnovers. Anthony Brown’s interception was basically just ripped out of White’s hands by an aggressive Notre Dame defender. Couple that with being basically invisible (Tommy Sweeney is guilty of this as well) and he ends up in this column.

The Use Of Harold Landry: I don’t understand the snap count of Harold Landry at all. Michael Sullivan of Rivals put it best:

True he isn’t going to fix the interior defense, but Harold Landry needs to be out there every play. I have never seen an preseason All American become so invisible as this.

Gameday Atmosphere: The fans were certainly jacked up, but BC didn’t seem ready. On a day where temps reached the mid 80’s BC ran out of bottled water and beer by mid way through the